—In partnership with Marquis Yachts and Nuvolari Lenard, Lexus gets its sea legs with the LY 650 Yacht.
By Rich Monetti
It’s no doubt that we’ve seen James Bond at the controls of a luxury sports car that plunges from a bridge and momentarily puts the end of the franchise in view. Of course, in the most iconic of these moments, 007 (played by Roger Moore) suddenly flips a switch and turns the otherwise oceanic grave into an improbable escape by sea. While we haven’t quite gotten to sports cars transforming into a full-out submersible, Lexus has now teamed with Marquis Yachts to give us the next best thing—the LY 650.
Making its debut in late 2019, the successful collaboration between Marquis, Lexus, and its parent company Toyota, meant finding the right company to give Lexus its sea legs. Marquis knew just where to go to deliver an interior that could both calm the waters and excite the senses—endeavoring to create a superior luxury vessel for discerning clientele.
The renowned Italian studio Nuvolari Lenard eagerly came on board to convert the Lexus ethos into a maritime vision. “The realization of the LY 650 has been an exciting and challenging process—unlike anything we have experienced in 27 years of yacht building,” said Carlo Nuvolari, Director and Senior Partner at Nuvolari Lenard.
But the triumvirate of talent and dedication didn’t just stick to their corners of the world and wait for a centralized voice to sign off on the specs. “With stakeholders based on three different continents and from three very distinct cultures, it was a true melting pot of influences and styles—a genuinely global project,” Nuvolari said of the 65-foot-long vessel.
Thus, the triangulation stretched from Toyota City in Japan to the Marquis manufacturing headquarters in Pulaski, Wisconsin and put Venice-based Nuvolari Lenard on the docket first. “We needed to distill the essence and design philosophy of the Lexus brand, and then translate that into something on the scale of a home,” said Dan Lenard, Director and Senior Partner at Nuvolari Lenard. Simply put, anything short of Lexus comfort and style at the helm would not do.
Firmly positioned at the bridge and contrasted in black and white leather, the contoured seating elicits a commanding presence—giving captain and copilot all the steady they need to chop through the seas. The high-tech helm integrated into a glass bridge with stainless steel borders exudes confidence too, while the necessity of steering a true course is always at arm’s length. An oversized windscreen matches the curvature of the earth overhead, and for backseat drivers, large windows to port and aft bombard the interior with light and accentuate the boundless blue.
The passenger doesn’t feel contained down below, either. The elongated windows stretch almost as far as the panorama and the master cabin purview makes 65 feet feel more like 650—letting the daydream of a superyacht seem as real as the ocean sway. On the other hand, while the ebb and flow can easily put alertness on notice, the king-size bed does the rest. With a curved base and rounded headboard, you’re far from steerage, and the resulting swaddle feels more like a cocoon. The desk, chaise lounge and doorway all grade on a curve too, as does the rest of the vessel, to evoke a car-like feeling.
With the angling smoothed over, Nuvolari Lenard still had to up the ante, and the signature “Lexus look” began with leather. High-quality cream leather adorns both the inside and out, and a combination of dark brown and taupe tones complement the cabinetry, soft furnishings and flooring alongside polished stainless steel hardware.
The ship’s manifest will also find some pleasing anomalies that enhance the leather itinerary. “We also designed leather features in places that you would not usually expect to find them on a boat, such as on door panels with elaborate stitching patterns,” added Nuvolari.
The surfacing knocks pretty hard too. Frisée eucalyptus and black lacquered walnut fill out the floors while new marfil and dark emperador marble smooth the way. With the visuals solidly in place, the $3.7 million LY 650 gives everyone a seat at the table. A large, U-shaped settee and dining table battens down the ride and/or lunch settings, while refreshments are right around the corner in the aft side bar.
The interior, linked by full high aft doors, feels as though you are on a much bigger boat. This especially in consideration of the open stairway that leads down below and still makes for an enjoyable spot to occupy. The same goes if you want to air it on the “sport” flybridge. An imposing figure as black and brown exterior contrast barrels past on the heels of matching Volvo IPS1200 engines. Boasting 800 horsepower each and 1060 gallons of fuel reserves, Lexus knows the LY 650 will go the distance.
Overall length: 65 feet 5 inches
Width: 19 feet
Engine: Twin 800hp IPS
Fuel Capacity: 1,060 gal
Water Capacity: 225 gal